Customers are upset after a sold-out male strip show was cancelled because of an Abbotsford bylaw banning exotic dancing, according to the manager of the pub where the event was to be held.
The Station House Pub and Grill in West Abbotsford was to host male strippers from Magic Mike’s Canadian Playboyz, a group that puts on adult-themed shows across the country, on April 23.
However, earlier this month, the pub was notified that a city bylaw specifically outlaws exotic dancing in bars and pubs. According to the bylaw, both the establishment and each strippers would be fined $500 if a show took place. The City of Abbotsford confirmed bylaw officials had contacted the pub about the event.
The Station House Pub and Grill’s manager, Nicole – she did not give her last name – told The News that neither the organizers nor the pub was aware the bylaw existed prior to booking the private event.
“It’s sad,” said Nicole, who said substantial revenue was lost. “A lot of people were upset about it.”
She said the event was a private booking, and only those who bought tickets were to be allowed in. “We’re a pub. Everybody bought tickets to a private event. I don’t see why we couldn’t hold it.”
The bylaw dates back to 1997, and bans all such shows, even if the performers do not remove all their clothing but are “substantially nude.”
The site selling the tickets, told prospective customers: “You have seen the amazing Hollywood blockbuster movie “Magic Mike.” Now you have a chance to see the similar themed action, LIVE ! Come and have fun for our ultimate ladies night :)”
Only women were to be permitted at the event.
Tickets have since been refunded. Other shows have been scheduled for Langley, where exotic dancers are permitted but cannot go fully nude, and at Aldergrove’s Alder Inn, where nudity is allowed, according to Brad Alexander, the show’s operator.
Alexander said bylaws regulating stripping vary across the country, with some municipalities permissive and others regulating how dancers can perform and how much clothing they can remove. In some locations, he said, even male strippers must cover their nipples.
“These laws are so outdated,” he said.